Ibrahim was spot-on when he said Peninsular Malaysians were only familiar with very few communities from Sabah and Sarawak. When The Star editors met on Wednesday evening to pick the front page photo for the Thursday edition, none of us Semenanjung folks could confidently identify the ethnic groups represented by the four pretty girls standing in front of the Malaysian flags.
We had to call our Kuching colleagues who told us the girls were Rungus and Kadazan. While it took a peninsular leader to create this entity called Malaysia, it is those in Sabah and Sarawak who seemed to have embraced it more whole-heartedly.
They are the Malaysians who are more colour blind and united, as observed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak himself. They are the ones who more comfortably adopted Malay as their lingua franca and intermarried more easily and with greater acceptance.
More than ever, we need to confront the truth why Peninsular Malaysians are “less Malaysian” than those in Sabah and Sarawak. Then only can we accept that something needs to be done; that we must bring the two halves of the nation closer together and learn the best practices from each other.
And we can do it because we do have common values and interests. It’s called 1Malaysia and if we can put aside our knee-jerk cynicism towards such a notion and really work towards it, it can become a reality.
Excerpt article by: June H.L. Wong for TheStar
So please, no more do we still stay at the top of the tree kinda question. Discover the other side of the world yourself. You’ll be amazed on what that has to offered at the other side of South China Sea. 🙂